The right way to make cash on an app.
  1. Table stakes (do what everyone else does)
  2. Killer feature
  3. Lucky launch
  4. Profit
William Wilkinson on Manual, an app that gives your iPhone's camera a "manual" setting on the dial:

I thought Manual was way too niche. How many people actually wanna set ISO on their smartphone? It never crossed my mind that it could exceed Everyday's launch. The launch went so unbelievably well. I was blown away. People were tweeting, the press was great, Apple featured it immediately. Shock and awe. I will toot my own horn and say that the video I made with Oliver helped a lot.
Manual was available for 100 days in 2014. Here’s my dinky:

95,621 total sales.
$123,413 USD total revenue (after Apple’s 30%, before taxes).
$91,773 USD in the first month.

Yeah it was [screwed] up. In terms of up-front expenses it was minimal, the investment is our time. I spent $1,500 on the website, video, sound design, domain, and stock photos. There are no substantial monthly expenses.

Not sure what a "dinky" is, but it seems to have worked out fairly well. ;^)

Though it's worth mentioning he did have a decent team put together to get design done and marketing out. Looks like a little less than three months of work from "noticing" the new camera API to release.
Note that there's lots of luck making evident at that last post too. Timing and targetting new APIs is pretty important. Note that that's _David Smith's MO too.

I submitted Manual a week before the iOS 8 release from Phoot Camp over shaky wifi. Including a fun last minute sprint to create new screenshot sizes for the iPhone 6 and plus. We got lucky and Apple approved Manual a few days later.

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